The relationship between Republicans and modern science has become strained lately. In recent months, we’ve seen GOP officials – including senators, governors, and presidential candidates – balk at climate science, contraception, vaccinations, post-bathroom hand-washing, and even evolutionary biology.
This week is becoming especially egregious on this front. We were introduced to a Republican state lawmaker in Idaho who seemed quite confused about women’s anatomy, and Jon Ralston added a new addition to the collection yesterday, highlighting the latest from Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R), who has a proposal to change existing rules on end-of-life care.
Fiore, who operates a home health care business that sometimes passes payroll taxes onto the IRS, said she knew of friends who left the country to find end-of-life treatments that are not FDA-approved. And then the payoff:“If you have cancer, which I believe is a fungus,” she began, citing a widely debunked theory that the American Cancer Society warns about, ”and we can put a pic line into your body and we’re flushing with, say, salt water, sodium cardonate [I think she means bicarbonate], through that line and flushing out the fungus. These are some procedures that are not FDA-approved in America that are very inexpensive, cost-effective.”
Putting aside the fact that cancer is not a “fungus,” it’s incidents like these that remind me why it’s wise to separate politicians from scientific and medical decision making as often as humanly possible. In recent years, When it comes to the process of deciding which medical treatments are covered by Medicare, for example, or which medicines receive FDA approval, there are safeguards in place that empower actual experts to draw evidence-based conclusions.
Assemblywoman Michele Fiore is offering a timely reminder that these safeguards must never change.
On a related note, if the Nevada Republican’s name sounds familiar, there’s a good reason for that.
A Nevada lawmaker is sponsoring a bill to legalize guns on college campuses in her state, a measure she said could prevent men from sexually assaulting “young, hot little girls.”Many gun rights advocates argue that arming female college students around the country would help reduce sexual assaults. One of those advocates, Republican Assemblywoman Michele Fiore of Nevada, said in a recent telephone interview with The New York Times: “If these young, hot little girls on campus have a firearm, I wonder how many men will want to assault them. The sexual assaults that are occurring would go down once these sexual predators get a bullet in their head.”
Fiore also talked to msnbc’s Chris Hayes last year, where she expressed support for Cliven Bundy and declined to answer questions about whether she recognizes the legitimacy of the American federal government.